At a time when we pride ourselves in the growing empowerment of women, there is a section of our country where the growth is slower than the rest of the country. It’s now time to wake up and smell the coffee. Population Foundation of India has been putting in tireless efforts in the state of Rajasthan to uplift women and reduce the societal discrimination they face every day. Here are 4 shocking statistics that will make you sit up and take notice.
Contrary to the country’s sex ratio which stands at 943 females for every 1000 males, Rajasthan’s sex ratio is at 928 women for every 1000 men. While it has grown from a dismal 888, there is a long way to go before we should settle down.
At an age when they should be exploring their books and knowledge in schools, a large percentage of girls are married off even before they hit adulthood. While about 26.80% of Indian girls are married as children, a whopping 35.40% of Rajasthan’s young girl children are married before they are 18 years of age.
Malnutrition amongst Adolescent Girls
Sadly, malnutrition rates in Rajasthan for adolescents are way above the older age groups, which is shocking and awakening at the same time. Within adolescents, a much larger number of young girls are victim to anaemia as compared to young boys. Over 8000 girls in the age group of 15 to 19 are subject to anaemia due to malnutrition as compared to 1185 boys in the same age group.
Succumbing to the pressures of marriage and contributing to the household earnings, young girls in Rajasthan end up dropping out of school in their teenage. A massive 20.10% of 15-16 year old girls drop out in Rajasthan as compared to 13.50% in the rest of India. Catalysing these drop outs are many factors like difficult access to school beyond the eighth grade, lack of safety and hygiene for females in schools, and difference in investment for girls and boys. Working towards better investment for girls in schools may take us one step closer to lesser dropouts. As we celebrate the women and girls in our personal lives, we must also take the pledge to educate and spread awareness amongst the rest of society to contribute to the wave of change that is required to level these statistics in Rajasthan.